Environmental Organizations Move to Protect California’s Greenhouse Gas Waiver for Cars

We must not reverse course on the road to clean air


Larisa Manescu, Sierra Club, larisa.manescu@sierraclub.org


Alexandria Trimble, Earthjustice, atrimble@earthjustice.org

Today, the nation’s leading environmental organizations moved to intervene to defend the Biden administration’s rule, finalized in March, that reinstated California’s Clean Air Act waiver, allowing the state to set greenhouse gas standards more protective than federal standards and to adopt zero-emissions standards for light-duty cars.

This rule reversed an illegal and unprecedented waiver revocation by the previous administration that threatened our climate and the well-being of communities around the country. The significance of the waiver is far-reaching, as it allows other states to adopt California’s stronger, more protective standards. Eighteen states and D.C. now follow California’s more protective greenhouse gas rules.

The Sierra Club and Earthjustice are a part of a large coalition of environmental groups filing today, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, National Parks Conservation Association, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Attorneys general from 20 states, Washington D.C., and the cities of Los Angeles and New York also intervened today to protect California’s waiver.

Earlier this week, 17 Republican attorneys general, a coalition of fossil fuel interests, and representatives of the ethanol industry initiated litigation seeking to invalidate the waiver reinstatement.

“We won’t stand by while Republican AGs and fossil fuel interests attempt to take the nation backwards on vehicle pollution,” said Joshua Berman, senior attorney at Sierra Club. “This common sense waiver helps protect communities in California and other clean cars states from air pollution from transportation. It is critical we defend it.”

“Taking away California’s ability to protect its citizens would be shameful and reverse course on the road to cleaner cars,” said Paul Cort, senior attorney at Earthjustice. “California is home to some of the most polluted regions in the country and it can only achieve healthy air by continuing to drive innovation and clean up the cars and trucks sold there.”

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